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13 Tools to Automate Your Content Marketing

content marketing

Content marketing can be time consuming for an already busy entrepreneur. Luckily, there are software solutions that help automate this part of business.

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Having the right tools make doing a job more efficient, less costly, and helps keep one’s sanity. Here are some great tools for content and social media marketing.


Don’t be fooled, though. There’s no “set it and forget it” program. A successful content or social media marketing strategy involves time and effort. A brand has to be present and interact on a daily basis.


Many tools have trial periods so they can be tested and demoed. While this is great in theory, most require more than a few hours of setup, so by the time you’ve gotten them into production, the free trial period is about over. What should you do? Continue on with the tool because you’ve spent the past two weeks getting it initialized? Should you look for an alternative (only to find the same routine occur)? Should you contact the vendor and plead your case for an extra two weeks of trial time?


It’s easy to then fall victim to sunk-cost fallacy – when one makes a hopeless investment of time or money that isn’t productive, but reasons that they can’t stop now, otherwise what they’ve invested so far will be lost. This is true, of course, but irrelevant to whether one should continue to invest time or funds in the project.


First, don’t be too hard on yourself. Many development companies have the timing of the free trials to a science and know exactly how long it takes to get into their systems and get them up and moving. It’s no coincidence that the trial expires not too long afterwards.


Second, if the tool looks promising and will help meet the organizational goals, then consider contacting the vendor and requesting an extension to the demo. It doesn’t hurt to ask. If you have the contact information for a sales agent, that’s the best place to start.


Third, if the setup is rough – maybe you’ve found little documentation or assistance from the vendor – then consider if it’s worth sinking more time and energy before moving forward. Don’t fall into the sunk-cost fallacy.


Finally, if the tool seems promising but the vendor has denied your request to extend your free pass, you may have to pony up to continue using it. Free trials are great, and we love new toys as much as the next person, but there are some tools in our arsenal that we can’t live without and knew it from the first few days of the trial. When that happens, don’t be fooled that the grass may be greener. Those are the ones you hold onto with both hands.

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Are you sizing up business prospects or building relationships?

What’s the best way to follow up with prospects without overwhelming them with email?

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Out of the 13 ways to follow up with business prospects listed in the above article, several of them employ nudging tactics. They encourage you, to nudge … and potentially become a nudge yourself.

Nudge: To push (someone) gently with your elbow in order to get that person’s attention. To prod lightly: urge into action

How often do you like to be overtly nudged, when someone’s main goal is trying to sell you something?

People not quite ready yet to see things your way quite may not be very receptive to nudging. You risk alienation. When you nudge someone, you want them to be receptive and their response to be positive.

One of the ways to increase receptiveness to your nudges is to nudge far less often and reframe your business prospects altogether. Think of them as people and interact and engage with them in a way that builds relationships.

For example: Grabbing a coffee and drink is a good tactic to build relationships, but don’t blow it by never switching out of selling mode.

Open the conversation with a question such as, “So, are you working on any exciting projects right now?” or “How are you making out on your end?”

By inviting the person to talk about themselves, you’re likely to earn trust, convey that you’re a good listener and lay the foundation for building a long-term relationship.

After all, that person may change jobs several times in the next few years. Wouldn’t it be great to follow them along as they progress through that career?

Perhaps the most generous effort you can make is to be selfless. Don’t make it all about you. (HINT: It’s not all about you.) Ask the person if there’s anything you can do to support their efforts.

Even if it’s just a vote of confidence or moral support, you’re reinforcing a relationship that can and will last a lot longer than a business prospect that you immediately dump once you’ve determine they’re not ready to buy right now.

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Making the case for social media and mobile marketing

In 2015, it’s hard to believe there are objections or those in the workplace that would question the need for social media and mobile marketing.

But we know this about humans: They don’t like change very much.

And in organizations, group think, personal resistance and lack of support from upper management are just a few of the many obstacles that need to be overcome to win support for a social/mobile marketing strategy.

One of the most compelling and succinct ways we’ve found to make the case for social media and mobile marketing is focus less on the nitty gritty.

If you’re trying to explain how Instagram works or explain just exactly why people use Twitter, you’re likely to fail or invite criticism. Quickly.

Focusing on the big picture is a much better strategy. The opportunities waiting for businesses who have yet to truly invest in social, mobile and digital marketing are enormous.

Try framing your next meeting about social media and mobile marketing with senior leadership by showing them this video by Erik Qualman.

You’re almost certain to get their attention and lay the groundwork on the importance of investing time and resources in these ever-evolving mediums.

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Open your next conversation with a compliment

For success, and especially to obtain employment, one’s knowledge and skills are less useful and less important than one’s network of personal contacts. – Wiktionary

In other words, It’s not what you know, but who you know.

Because we know this proverb to be true, you should always be building and maintaining relationships. Of all types. Whether it’s for work, a side project or just going about your personal life.

One of the best ways to ease into a conversation is to open with a compliment. Or a question. Or both.

You: “What have you been working on lately?”

[Person replies.]

You: “Well, I have to say, it sounds like you did a great job on that.”

You’ve just set the right tone for a pleasant conversation.

Often times people can have their guard up or are naturally apprehensive, especially if they don’t know you that well.

Help put them at ease by paying a compliment. It’s probably one of the nicest things someone will do for them all day.

Don’t you want to be that person who makes someone’s day?

When you pay someone a compliment, it can often lead to reciprocal feedback. While that always feels good, that shouldn’t be your primary purpose in paying a compliment.

Compliments should come from the heart and be genuine. More often than not, it will lead to a fruitful conversation that both parties will remember.

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How social media listening can improve your content marketing

social media listening

Listening to your community is an obvious first step to unlocking the power of your content marketing, but it’s one that goes tremendously overlooked.

Brands need to lay the foundation of a strong and sustainable content strategy by using social media listening to hear what your community is saying.


Listening is one of the most fundamental pieces of a brand’s social media program.

Social media listening involves much more than scanning for mentions of your brand across the social web.

Successful social programs use listening to:

1. Learn what their audience and communities are talking about

2. Identify and engage influencers and brand advocates

3. Determine how to contribute and add value to social conversations

Remember, it’s not all about you and your brand on social media. Before you do anything, make sure you listen and listen often.

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The Incredible Power of Paying a Compliment

The incredible power of paying a compliment

Paying a ComplimentA compliment wields great possibility. It shows respect, admiration, approval, gratitude, trust, appreciation, and hope. One of the most generous things you can do in your life is to give someone else a true and meaningful compliment.

Criticism is easy and can often be perceived as negative. Giving praise is much more meaningful and makes the recipient feel better.

Try it and see what type of response you get.

It’s a great tactic to use up front in business meetings to set a positive tone. It’s also a great way to convey genuine feedback to a colleague.

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Henry Rollins on Coming from a Creative Place of YES

Henry Rollins Creative Quote

Henry Rollins, creative genius…

is a writer, performer, TV host, storyteller and radio DJ. He is also a source of inspiration for creative people all over the world.

Henry Rollins’ success is a reminder that most opportunities are self-created. He’ll be the first to tell you that.

Henry Rollins comes from a place of yes. So does Epic Marketing. Will you do the same?



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Why you should optimize your visual social media content

social mediaImages are a vital element of social media.

Set a photo with screwy dimensions as your profile pic or cover photo, and you’ve immediately set the tone all wrong.

Bookmark these convenient graphics now, and you’ll have the sizes handy next time you want to redesign your profile.


To quote Gary Vaynerchuk, we “can’t believe this is even a discussion.”

It’s 2015 and the web and social web have become increasingly visual.

Our brains process visual content much quicker than text alone. So, make sure your brand’s visual content is optimized for the social networks you’re using.

Each social network has its own optimal image sizes. Your brand needs to follow them.

There’s no excuse … unless you choose to make one.

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If/When Your Social Media Manager Makes a Mistake

when your social media manager makes a mistake“Boy, I sure hope someone got fired for that blunder.”

How often have you seen that sentiment on social media? It’s one of those phrases that tends to crop up whenever a person or brand posts something on a social channel that could be considered offensive, off-colour or controversial.

These days, it doesn’t take long before the social media hate machine ramps up from offended to calling for someone’s head in the wake of a controversial posting. Because of this, brands may be tempted to act quickly and immediately rectify the situation when the heat suddenly gets turned up.

And yet in the rush to punish someone for making a mistake, we not only forget about the human implications of such a rush to judgement, but a brand that moves too fast against a potential backlash may find itself with a much more complicated problem on their hands.”


In this era, that brands will make an occasional misstep on social is to be expected. While the blunder has the potential to go viral or cause temporary embarrassment, the long-term ramifications are usually minimal.

The life-cycle of social media blunders by brands is relatively short due to the rapid turnover of trending stories and an endless stream of new content on social networks. The mistake will get bumped off the front page much quicker than you think.

Unless the social mistake was intentional, egregious or the result of significant negligence, your social media manager will feel pretty horrible about the mistake. Don’t make them feel more horrible by reacting punitively without considering that their action was likely a mistake … after all, we all make them every now and then.

If/when your social media manager makes a mistake, consider the following steps.

  • Assess
  • React
  • Don’t overreact
  • Be sincere in addressing
  • Learn
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Is Your Brand Sharing its Content Enough on Social and the Social Web?

Simply writing and publishing blog posts isn’t enough. Here are 15 additional places you should be sharing your blog posts.


For many organizations and brands in the United States, there are three core social networks in their marketing mix: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

These social networks are not all alike. Each social network behaves differently, reaches different audiences and ultimately serve different functions (although overlapping is likely).

When brands share on social media, creating awareness and expanding reach are usually primary goals.

But brands can (and should) also be thinking about things such as customer service and engagement as well as lead generation and transactions.

When it comes to increasing reach and reinforcing brand awareness via social media, there are many additional networks, communities and tools that can be leveraged.

This content marketing 101 list maps out some of those options. Among our favorites at Epic are SlideShare,, and Reddit.

Which social networks can your brand leverage beyond the big three?

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